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Art and utility come together in the details.

A familiar Sunset phrase for decades, "doing double duty" usually describes building elements that perform more than one function. Japanese architects and designers have been perfecting a comparable concept for centuries in the care and the craftsmanship applied to shaping individual details. One example is the type of storage cabinet that also functions as a stairway, depicted on page 61.

Often the very spareness that is a characteristic of many Japanese houses focuses your gaze on the details that help shape the space, such as the elegant grid pattern, the translucence, and the flexible uses of rice-paper shoji panels. The Japanese approach is to make such details functional and artistic at the same time.

On these two pages, we show nine examples of contemporary Western architectural details that solve particular problems in a craftsman-like way. Several examples borrow Japanese ideas directly.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:decorating
Date:Feb 1, 1992
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